We Might Not Know What the Future Holds, But We’ll Innovate ‘Til We Get There
Amid unrelenting disruption and change, we’re thankful for one constant: our community of employees, customers and partners who continue to show the world what’s possible.
As I mentioned back in 2019, my role as Global Futurist is not to predict what will happen but instead to ideate what could happen and how best to prepare. One great example of this is the pandemic and the slew of disruption to follow. While we might not have had an infectious disease in our five-year plans, we did predict our customers would need to establish a future-scalable technology foundation.
In this challenging environment, every aspect of business is being put to the test. It almost feels as if navigating today while preparing ourselves for tomorrow has transitioned from a 5-point grading scale to pass/fail – in other words, there’s a lot more on the line. Stagnation is not the answer.
At Zebra, one of our core values is Innovation. Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity, not a threat.” Like Steve Jobs, we believe that championing bold ideas and challenging the status quo is what will help our customers and advance our business.
While I don’t have a crystal ball to prove my hypothesis, I do predict Zebra Nation – our customers, partners, suppliers and employees – will continue to innovate toward a brighter, more efficient and sustainable future. Our perseverance and boldness through disruption will get us to the next level, even in a pass/fail scenario.
How can I predict this? Well, I pause to reflect on all we’ve achieved through two years of unprecedented and rapid evolution.
Firstly, we are proud of our customers who were celebrated earlier this year for their leadership and exemplary use of technology to manage through change, including:
Heather Mickman, Chief Information Officer for Gap, who was featured in the Retail-Today.com Women in Retail list.
We are also proud of our employees, partners and suppliers, who have helped us continue to bring innovative, game-changing solutions to market:
Zebra won iF Design Awards in Product Design for the ZSB Series SOHO printer, CS60 Series companion scanner and RFD40 UHF RFID sled. Additionally, the Aurora™ machine vision software won an award in User Experience, and the ZSB Series label printer won an award in User Interface.
The Zebra suite of machine vision smart cameras and fixed industrial scanners, with the Zebra Aurora™ software platform, was selected as the "Industrial IoT Solution of the Year” by IoT Breakthrough. The machine vision and fixed scanning suite was also recognized as an “Industrial IoT Product of the Year” in the IoT Evolution Awards and with a Vision Systems Design Bronze Innovators Award.
MedTech Breakthrough Awards named the Zebra TC52ax-HC healthcare mobile computer the "Best Overall mHealth Solution."
Zebra’s PartnerConnect program was awarded a 5-star rating in the 2022 Partner Program Guide by CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company.
Zebra was recognized by Lowe’s Companies, Inc. as "2022 Strategic Partner of the Year" at the Lowe’s Technology Vendor Summit.
Zebra received The Connected Supply Chain Award for "most effective use of E2open’s end-to-end platform and network, E2net” in the E2Open CONNECT 2022 Client Awards.
Zebra won Red Dot Awards for Product Design for the ZSB Series SOHO printer and the CS60 Series companion scanner.
Zebra was recognized by Nucleus Research as a Leader in the 2022 Workforce Management (WFM) Technology Value Matrix for the fourth consecutive year.
In the 2022 Retail CIO Radar by Retail Today, Zebra and antuit.ai were recognized in the “Merchandising” category, and Zebra was recognized in the “Robotic Fulfillment” category.
The China-based IoT Star Awards honored the ZT411 industrial printer with an award in the category of “Innovative Products.”
Of course, none of this would be possible without the individuals who work so hard to ensure we are meeting our customers’ expectations, including:
Melonee Wise, Vice President of Robotics Automation, who was honored with the 2022 Engelberger Award, a.k.a. the “Nobel Prize” of robotics, and the Grainger College of Engineering 2022 Alumni Award for Distinguished Service by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Jim Lawton, Vice President and General Manager of Robotics Automation and Sivakumar Lakshmanan, Vice President and General Manager of antuit.ai , who were named to the annual Supply & Demand Chain Executive Pros to Know list.
Bill Jacob, Senior Sales Director of North America Distribution & Advanced Data Capture, who was named to the prestigious CRN® Channel Chiefs list in 2022.
Francesca Salamone, Director of North America Sales and Channel Operations, who was named to the CRN® 2022 Women of the Channel list.
Tony Palcheck, Managing Director of Zebra Ventures, who was named to the 2022 Global Corporate Venturing Powerlist Top 150, marking his second year on the list.
Christanto Suryadarma, Southeast Asia Sales Vice President, who was named one of the Top 10 Most Futuristic Business Leaders to Watch in 2022 by The Inc Magazine.
Nor would collaborative innovation be possible without strong company leadership, a great workplace culture, and a commitment to lead by example:
Forbes ranked Zebra #79 among the top 500 midsize employers in its annual list of America’s Best Employers. This marks our sixth consecutive year on the list.
Zebra received a Ragan Workplace Wellness Award for its exemplary physical health and well-being initiatives and offerings.
Zebra ranked #32 among the top 50 large employers in the United States in the Top Workplaces USA feature by Energage.
Zebra ranked #61 among the top 76 small employers in the Sun Sentinel’s annual list of top workplaces in South Florida.
Zebra received a score of 95 out of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index.
Zebra ranked #1 among the top 26 companies in the technology industry in Newsweek’s list of America's Most Trusted Companies, evaluated for trust by customers, investors and employees.
Zebra ranked #1,504 on the Forbes' Global 2000 World’s Largest Public Companies list in 2022.
Zebra was recognized in the 2022 Manufacturing Leadership Council Awards for its outstanding achievement in the category of Enterprise Integration and Technology. Zebra was honored for leading the adoption of Industry 4.0 with its manufacturing suppliers globally.
As we embark on the remainder of 2022, unaware of what lies before us, I feel confident that Zebra Nation has the tools to overcome challenges and build a better future as one global team. And if we need new tools, we have the right people to innovate them.
So, let’s pause today, and every day, to celebrate those who have carried us through tough times and helped us see a brighter future. And let’s be thankful we have each other – as partners, customers, solution providers, and the list goes on – all working together to build a better world. We have always been better together, and we always will be.
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